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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Rear-Amp and Ear Scratches
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Forum Posts: 68
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9 December 2018
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13 February 2019 - 3:16 pm
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Hi all!

Ciara is just over 8 weeks post-op and is doing great! She just had her 3rd chemo treatment yesterday and seems to be doing fine so far. We’ve been lucky, she’s been a trooper through this whole ordeal and the chemo doesn’t seem to slow her down.

One thing that I’m sure is typical for a rear-amp is she still tries to scratch her right ear, which of course confuses her when nothing happens! My husband and I are always quick to help our baby out and give her “scratchies” – to which she groans (hopefully we’re hitting the spot!). 

The doctor always looks in her ears and says there’s nothing to report. She also says they find a way to get those scratches in. My question for you all is: how long did it take for your fur babies to figure out how to scratch in a new way? I don’t think anything is wrong with her ear (plus she’s a shepherd so no floppy ears), but I would like to give her as much relief as I can. Sometimes it seems like she’s not satisfied, hehe.

Thanks guys!

ETA: Pic from her 2nd chemo and a lazy afternoon (someone has been jumping on the couch again)!

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13 February 2019 - 3:58 pm
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Ciara looks just wonderful! What a happy content puppy heartheart

Huckleberry had his right rear leg amputated almost a year and a half ago. He loves that right ear scratched! I don’t know how much is itchy and how much is him loving one of us to scratch that ear (its always clean) but he has done it since his surgery and every time I pet him I make sure I give that ear / side of his face a good rubbing way-cool

Jackie and Huck heart


Jackie, David, Bo, Andy, Oscar, Angel Mitchell, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

Huckleberry's Blog

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13 February 2019 - 10:24 pm
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Ciara! It’s so good to hear from you both. I’m so hoppy things are well. How wonderful to see you two, what a great pic! 🙂

Yeah that ear scratching thing is ruff for a rear-leg amputee. Our Wyatt Ray still tries and it never fails to make us go “awwwww buddy!” I don’t think he will ever figure out how to do it with his other leg, he just can’t twist his body that much. We usually just help him out and if he seems like he needs more, we reach for his .99-cent back scratcher that we bought just for the occasion. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 February 2019 - 10:53 pm
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My first rear amp Tri-Pug Maggie figured out how to at least rub her ear on her sister or the furniture, I don’t remember her ‘asking’ for help very often after the first few months.  She started doing the air scratch soon after surgery but usually from a sitting position, she stopped a few months after.

My current rear amp Elly, a little Pug mix, is 3.5 years past her amp (car accident) and still does the crescent moon pose with her hip muscles rotating away in her version of the air scratch.  When I put my hand out she will put her head into it and I scratch around her ear and face- sometimes her chin.  I must be doing it right since she seems to have no desire to find a way to scratch herself!

I’m glad to hear that Ciara is rocking the chemo treatments!  She is so gorgeous- I love the brindle coloring.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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17 February 2019 - 8:34 am
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Thanks everyone! There are some days where it seems like the needs the scratch more than others. Karen, you described it perfectly with the “crescent moon pose” – it makes us feel so bad! whatever

A back scratcher sounds like a great idea, although we’ll have to fight our two kitties off because they’ll want to get in on that. Lol!

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8 March 2019 - 4:38 pm
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My dog has his rear left leg amputated. he uses his left front paw to scratch his ear. Sometimes he’ll use both. He has to lay down to do this. But he just brings his front arms over his head and pulls them forward back over his head and ears to itch! Sometimes he moves them forward and back over his ears if they are real itchy! Or he finds something to rub his ear against! Haha but I always try to give that ear some extra love! He will sometime to “phantom scratches” which are what you explained. Where he tries to scratch his ear with a leg that just isn’t there. Used to make me sad, but now I just chuckle and call him over for some love! Goodluck with the chemo! Wishing the best. 

Finley and Emily 


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8 March 2019 - 9:32 pm
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HaHa!  Would love to see a video of Finley mastery the art of ear scratching!😎

And the pics of Clara are precious.   She’s  such a sweetie❤


Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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